CCentral-Main-logo-EN-trans

Convenience Central
Join our community
extra content
Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 10.45.10 AM

Alberta Appeal Court sides with Alberta on federal carbon tax

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 10.44.00 AMThe Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled that the federal carbon tax is not constitutional.

In a 4-1 decision, the court says the legislation that brought in the tax erodes provincial jurisdiction.

The Alberta government had argued in its challenge of the tax that climate change isn’t a national issue requiring overriding federal intervention.

The federal government countered by saying climate change is a national and global concern that can’t be left to each of the provinces to take on alone.

The majority of the Appeal Court judges sided with the province.

“The act is a constitutional Trojan horse,” said the portion of the decision written by three of the four majority justices.

The court rejected federal arguments that reducing greenhouse gases met the legal test of being a national concern.

“Almost every aspect of the provinces’ development and management of their natural resources … would be subject to federal regulation.”

It noted health care, minimum wages and justice are all national concerns but are administered by the provinces.

The court ruled that, for something to be a national concern within federal jurisdiction, it would have to be beyond the scope of provincial powers.

Monday’s decision is the first to side with a province against the federal government.

Courts in both Saskatchewan and Ontario upheld the federal levy last year.

The Supreme Court of Canada is to hear Saskatchewan’s appeal of its court’s decision this spring.


Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 10.45.10 AM

Alberta justice minister says province will ‘fight back’ against carbon tax

Alberta is promising to continue its fight against the federal consumer carbon tax as the price of gasoline in the province is set to jump.

The federal Liberals are accompanying the tax with a rebate program.

Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer told a news conference at a Calgary truck stop on December 31 that people should gas up quickly.

“We want to make sure as well that Albertans know that even though our taxes are going up, that we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that we fight back against this federal overreach and make sure Albertans know that we have their backs,” Schweitzer said.

The federal government says the average Alberta household will receive about $880 under the rebate program, which is about $170 more than it is expected to pay.

Schweitzer said he doesn’t believe that will be the case.

“I don’t buy that at all. Look at Albertans right now. Alberta is struggling. We need jobs in this province,” he said.

“The cost of everything is going to start going up.”

The four-cent increase represents a carbon tax of $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide, increasing to $30 in the spring.

Those who live in small or rural communities will receive a higher rebate, and fuel used for farm machinery can be exempted from the tax.

Municipalities, public institutions, small businesses and Indigenous communities are also to receive extra funding to help them lower their energy costs.

Alberta is challenging the federal tax in the province’s Court of Appeal. Arguments were heard in December and the court has yet to rule.

Ontario and Saskatchewan lost previous challenges of the tax in their top courts and are appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada. Alberta is supporting them in their legal action.

“We’re waiting to see what the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision will have in the New Year. And we’re hoping to have that decision done before the Supreme Court case, which is going to be heard in March,” Schweitzer said.

“We’re going to keep that fight going. This is federal overreach plain and simple. This is clearly provincial jurisdiction.”

Alberta had a consumer carbon tax under the previous New Democrat government, which was rescinded by the United Conservatives in May. The government has since imposed a carbon tax of $30 a tonne on industrial emitters, which has been approved by Ottawa.

“Alberta is doing its part to tackle global emissions. Our plan invests in real technological solutions. It doesn’t punish people for driving to work and heating their homes,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday on Twitter.

He said his government won’t relent in its legal fight against the consumer tax.

“We won’t roll over like the previous NDP government did. This is Alberta’s jurisdiction, and we will fight for it.”


Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 3.17.42 PM

Alberta reports first severe vaping related lung illness to Public Health Agency

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 3.17.42 PMAlberta has reported its first case of a severe vaping-related lung illness after treating a patient in hospital who was having difficulty breathing.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said officials confirmed the case earlier this week.

“In this particular case, the person had coughing, shortness of breath and needed to be admitted to hospital for treatment. They are now recovering at home,” she said Thursday.

“But we know that vaping can cause these severe lung illness types of disease that we’ve seen reported in the U.S.”

As of Dec. 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States reported 2,561 e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injuries from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Fifty-five deaths have been confirmed in 27 states and D.C.

The Public Health Agency of Canada had asked provincial health officials to report any probable and confirmed cases as part of a national investigation into the illnesses.

The agency’s website shows there were 14 previous cases across the country from May until November 2019 – three in British Columbia, two in New Brunswick, four in Ontario and five in Quebec.

Hinshaw said the Alberta case involves an adult, but declined to provide any additional information about the age or gender of the person for privacy reasons.

“They weren’t feeling well and they sought medical care and then they received the care that they needed, which is exactly what they should do.”

Hinshaw said the investigation into the type of vaping product is ongoing.

“The information we have is that the product was nicotine containing and it was purchased commercially,” she said.

Public health officials again warned that vaping is not without risk and its long-term health impacts are not known.

“Any time someone inhales a compound in their lungs … there is potential that is damaging the lungs,” said Hinshaw. “It’s just a reminder that people need to be aware of that when they are making choices.”

The Alberta government said it has launched a review of its tobacco and smoking reduction act. Officials are expected to provide a final report to the health minister in the coming weeks.

“Based on its findings, we expect to table new vaping-related legislation this spring,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday on Twitter.

 


Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 10.45.10 AM

Carbon tax rebate amounts reduced in four provinces

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 10.44.00 AMThe federal government has decreased the carbon tax rebates Canadians can expect in the new year in three provinces that have not adopted carbon pricing models that meet federal requirements.

The government has also added Alberta to the mix after that province’s United Conservative party repealed the previous government’s consumer carbon tax.

The biggest drop in the rebate will be in Saskatchewan, where the federal Finance Department says a family of four will qualify for rebates totalling $809 in 2020, down from the $903 that was projected last year.

In Ontario, the rebate for a family of four has been set at $448, down from $451, while families in Manitoba will receive $486, a decrease from $499.

A family of four in Alberta will see a rebate of $888 in 2020.

The rebates are meant to offset the added consumer costs resulting from Ottawa’s carbon tax of $20 per tonne of carbon emitted into the atmosphere for 2020, rising to $30 per tonne in 2021.

The Trudeau government has maintained that most households will receive more money back through the rebates than they pay in carbontaxes on things such as gasoline and home-heating fuels.

The carbon tax scheme was introduced earlier this year as a way to encourage Canadians to use less carbon-based products, thereby reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Here are the rebate amounts for individuals and families, by province, in 2020, according to a government statement:

Ontario:

Single adult or first adult in a couple – $224

Second adult in a couple or first child of a single parent – $112

Each child under 18 – $56

Baseline amount for a family of four – $448

Manitoba:

Single adult or first adult in a couple – $243

Second adult in a couple or first child of a single parent – $121

Each child under 18 – $61

Baseline amount for a family of four – $486

Saskatchewan:

Single adult or first adult in a couple – $405

Second adult in a couple or first child of a single parent – $202

Each child under 18 – $101

Baseline amount for a family of four – $809

Alberta:

Single adult or first adult in a couple – $444

Second adult in a couple or first child of a single parent – $222

Each child under 18 – $111

Baseline amount for a family of four – $888


Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 3.50.33 PM

‘You can call anything a national concern:’ Alberta questions federal carbon tax

Allowing Ottawa’s carbon tax law to stand would give the federal government a tool it could use to repeatedly chip away at provincial powers, lawyers for the Alberta government argued Monday.

“If you uphold this legislation, you’re opening the door to exactly that type of thing,” Peter Gall told a panel of five Alberta Court of Appeal judges.

The federal government justifies the law under a section of the Constitution that allows Ottawa to step in over issues of “national concern.”

Gall argued such issues are rare. Greenhouse gases don’t meet the test, he said, and letting the carbon tax law stand would open the door to allowing Parliament to step in whenever it wanted.

“You can call anything a national concern,” he told court.

The Constitution gives provinces adequate power to regulate greenhouse gases and Ottawa’s legislation simply ties their hands, Gall said.

“It’s invasive in terms of taking away policy options that would otherwise be open to the provinces.”

Alberta is the latest province to challenge the tax. Ontario and Saskatchewan lost cases in their top courts, but are appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The attorneys-general of Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are also to speak during the three-day hearing in Edmonton. Eight First Nations, non-governmental groups and Crown corporations have also been granted intervener status.

Ottawa argues that authorization for the tax comes under the Constitution’s peace, order and good government clause. Establishing minimum national standards on greenhouse gas emissions “is a matter of national concern that only Parliament can address.”

University of Alberta law professor Eric Adams said using the nation concern argument to justify the law is a bit of a leap.

“The federal government made a gamble here that this was a case that was worth opening up that previously neglected box,” Adams said. “They’ve taken a bit of a risk here.”

He said he believes Alberta is unlikely to win. But if there’s a dissenting judge, that could bolster the government’s argument before the Supreme Court, which has already scheduled a January date for the Ontario and Saskatchewan appeals.

“If they don’t win, they hope for a judgment from some judges that lends weight and credibility, and maybe a new perspective to add to the dissenting opinions that have already been rendered in Saskatchewan and Ontario,” said Adams.

Three out of five Saskatchewan appellate judges agreed with Ottawa, as did four out of five of their Ontario colleagues. Past judgments have recognized the environment as a matter of shared jurisdiction.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney ditched a consumer carbon tax that the previous NDP government had brought in soon after his United Conservatives won the provincial election in April.

He has established a $30-a-tonne carbon tax on industrial emitters, replacing somewhat stronger measures introduced by the former NDP government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have approved that tax.

The consumer carbon tax is to begin in Alberta starting Jan. 1.

Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer said in a statement Monday that Ottawa doesn’t always know best.

“Even if you support a carbon tax, it doesn’t mean that the federal government’s carbon tax is the best or only approach for every province,” he said.

“Each province is unique, with different economies, different demographics, and different geographies. That is why our federation is structured to give provinces the right to make our own laws and regulations over businesses when it comes to issues like reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

 


N.B. premier Blaine Higgs

N.B. premier hopeful final sign off on carbon plan coming early in the new year

The premier of New Brunswick said Monday he hopes to hear back early in the new year about whether the federal government will sign-off on his province’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial emitters.

N.B. premier Blaine Higgs

N.B. premier Blaine Higgs

Blaine Higgs met with the prime minister Monday morning, the latest – and likely last – of the provincial and territorial leaders to meet face-to-face with Justin Trudeau this year in the wake of the October election.

He described the meeting as a cordial get together reflective of a changed tone in federal-provincial relations, a change that’s the result of concerted efforts by provinces, territories and Trudeau to renew a national bond strained by the election results.

One tangible example of those efforts, said Higgs, was the federal government’s decision last week to approve New Brunswick’s consumer carbon pricing plan.

“Getting that behind us . . . is important so that we can move on to other issues,” Higgs said.

Federal approval means as of April, New Brunswick consumers will stop paying the federal carbon tax and instead pay an equivalent provincial version.

Still, the Liberals have yet to do the same for the province’s proposal on regulating heavy emitters.

Higgs said he came away from his meeting with Trudeau with a sense it will go before the federal cabinet as early as the next meeting.

“I would say that early in the new year we should hear something back,” he said.

Higgs had been among the conservative premiers challenging the federal carbon tax in court, but changed course after nearly two-thirds of voters in his province chose a party in favour of the tax in the federal election.

But he said he still supports the idea of a court challenge on the grounds that a decision on whether the federal government has the jurisdiction to impose a new provincial tax could help guide the issue more broadly in the future.

Lawyers for the Alberta government began their arguments on the subject before the Alberta Court of Appeal on Monday.

The case begins in the wake of the Liberals approving that province’s heavy emitters plan earlier this month, just ahead of Trudeau’s meeting with Premier Jason Kenney.

Higgs said he did push Trudeau on why Alberta’s heavy emitters proposal was approved but New Brunswick’s wasn’t.

“We know the plan is similar to what was previously accepted from another province, so we think it’s good to go,” he said.

Higgs said he and other premiers have appreciated what he called Trudeau’s “stellar” efforts at provincial outreach after the election.

“I think the whole demeanour has changed, about our country pulling together,” Higgs said.

Among the topics also discussed Monday was the fate of a private abortion clinic in Fredericton that’s on the brink of closure.

Higgs’ government argues that it does not need to fund private abortion services as the procedure is covered when it is performed in hospital. Supporters of the clinic have said those services are becoming more and more challenging to access, and therefore to not fund private clinics violates the Canada Health Act.

Trudeau had promised during the campaign to ensure the law was upheld, and Higgs said the two discussed – but did not resolve – how it would be.

“We’ll ensure we meet what the prime minister is looking for in terms of accessibility for all patients, and that’s what our goal will be,” he said.

“Where that ends up, I’m not sure. The goal is to ensure we have the accessibility that’s required in our province.”

Higgs said he also received assurances from Trudeau that with the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade deal on the books, the Liberal government will resume effort to find a solution to the decades-old spat over softwood lumber with the U.S., which has had a major impact on the industry in New Brunswick.


shutterstock_772541140

Feds approve Alberta’s carbon tax on big industrial emitters

shutterstock_772541140
The federal government is giving the Alberta government a passing grade for its industrial carbon tax.

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says his department agrees Alberta’s planned $30-a-tonne carbon price on emissions from big industry meets federal requirements.

However the climate battles between Ottawa and Edmonton will continue because on Jan. 1 the federal government will still start applying its carbon tax on the purchase in Alberta of fuels like gasoline, natural gas, and propane.

Alberta used to have a consumer carbon tax on fuel but Premier Jason Kenney and the newly elected United Conservative Party cancelled it earlier this year.

A fuel surcharge and a carbon tax for big industry are the two components of the national carbon pricing system applied in any province without similar systems of their own.

Since April, Ottawa has applied the fuel surcharge in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick but Saskatchewan was exempted from most of the big-industry element because it has a version that Ottawa deemed strong enough.


CEO Mary Moran of Calgary Economic Development

Western separatism, pipeline delays weigh on corporate mood at Alberta forum

Ongoing environmental criticism, delays in building oil pipelines and a surge of separatist sentiment following the last federal election are hurting Alberta’s reputation, presenters at a business forum in the Alberta mountain resort town of Lake Louise said Friday.

CEO Mary Moran of Calgary Economic Development

CEO Mary Moran of Calgary Economic Development

The rise of the western Canadian separation movement or “Wexit” cost Calgary an opportunity to attract a major technology head office, said CEO Mary Moran of Calgary Economic Development during a speech at the event.

“We as an organization just lost a 1,000-person company that didn’t come to Calgary, selected another city, because they’re concerned about Wexit,” she said. “So we need to tell a unified story about Calgary.”

The city was high on the unnamed firm’s shortlist of potential hosts until alarms were raised over Wexit, she said in an interview after the speech.

The company was also unhappy about the removal of some tech-friendly tax incentives in the United Conservative government’s recent provincial budget, she said.

The Canadian digital company can’t be identified because it has not yet announced the community that made the winning bid to host its new headquarters, said Moran.

Premier Jason Kenney, who also spoke at the event, said the only concern he’s hearing in meetings with investors in Houston and on Wall Street is about Canada’s inability to build pipelines to transport oil and gas to market.

“The main concern that I hear is about the lack of pipelines and market access for our energy that is the result of the foreign-funded campaign to landlock Alberta energy,” he told reporters.

“Our single greatest strategic interest is to get pipelines built and that will not happen unless we push back.”

Kenney’s government is “doing exactly what Albertans hired us to do,” he said, by launching a “fair deal” panel to look at establishing a provincial revenue agency, withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan and replacing the RCMP with a provincial police force.

Many Alberta CEOs in agriculture, energy, finance and transportation sectors agree Alberta’s image now is that of a province with a struggling economy, a declining and outdated industry, a lack of innovation and a fascination with separation, said Adam Legge, president of the recently formed Business Council of Alberta.

Those negative impressions are inaccurate, but they are having an effect, he said.

“(The CEOs) all say one thing. It is hard to attract people to Alberta because of its image. Our brand has taken a hit,” he said in a speech.

Albertans need to avoid the temptation to “wallow in uncertainty,” said Ed Sims, CEO of WestJet Airlines Ltd., in a speech that touched on the Calgary-based airline’s problems with competition, the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max planes and passenger rights legislation.

“The more we talk about uncertainty, the more we talk about tough times, the more we manifest that reality and it becomes our new reality,” he said.

 


Rich Kruger is retiring at the end of December.

Imperial Oil CEO offers faint praise for Alberta curtailment cuts for rail plan

Alberta is going in the “right direction” with its plan to ease production curtailments for oil producers who add crude-by-rail capacity, the CEO of Imperial Oil Ltd. said, although he didn’t commit to transport more oil by rail.

Rich Kruger – one of the industry’s most outspoken critics of mandatory curtailments that began last January – said it’s necessary to review of the details of the province’s plan, which was announced Oct. 31.

“I would say, in the form of a compliment to the government, they’re trying to make the best of a bad situation. They’re playing the cards they were dealt,” he said on a webcast to discuss third-quarter results.

“The bad situation is that we’re in curtailment in the first place.”

Under the previous NDP government, Alberta put a cap on the amount of oil that the industry can produce as a way to narrow price discounts that grew as oil production exceeded the ability of pipelines to get the crude to market.

The measure was continued by the United Conservative government, when it was elected last spring, but the industry quota is rising to 3.81 million barrels per day in December, up 250,000 bpd from the original limit of 3.56 million bpd.

Imperial is more heavily invested in crude-by-rail than most producers because it co-owns a terminal in Edmonton with the capacity to load 210,000 bpd _ about one third of the province’s estimated rail capacity of 500,000 to 600,000 bpd.

However, Kruger said the economic case for shipping oil by rail steadily worsened over the summer because there’s not enough difference in price between Alberta and the U.S. Gulf Coast end market to support shipping by rail, which is more expensive than pipelines.

Rail shipments by Imperial in the third quarter fell from 76,000 bpd in July to 35,000 bpd in September, he said, adding the volumes would be headed even lower in the current quarter if not for the government announcement and the possible impact of an outage on the Keystone pipeline following a large oil spill in North Dakota earlier this week.

He said rail shipping volumes are “to be determined at this point,” adding Imperial uses Keystone but declining to give volumes.

Rival oilsands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. said it would quickly add as much as 20,000 bpd to oilsands output and proceed with bringing an oilsands expansion on stream, to add 50,000 bpd in the next six to 12 months following the Alberta decision on curtailments.

Suncor Energy Inc., meanwhile, said it would put up to 30,000 bpd on rail over the next month or so in view of the announcement.

Alberta’s lack of pipeline capacity has made oil-by-rail the next-best method of transport, but the switch comes with certain costs. In a 2016 study, researchers at the University of Alberta found that pipeline transportation of oil produced between 61 and 77% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than rail, and numerous studies have found that pipelines are the safer transport method.

Imperial reported Nov. 1 that net income fell 43%t to $424 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $749 million or 94 cents per share in the same period of 2018.

It said cash generated from operating activities added up to $1.38 billion in the quarter, up from $1.21 billion in the third quarter of 2018.

The biggest drag on earnings came from Imperial’s downstream operations, where net income slipped to $221 million from $502 million due to lower refinery profit margins and planned maintenance outages.

On the upstream side, Imperial reported slightly lower income due to higher operating expenses and royalties – it noted lower volumes at its Kearl oilsands mine and Cold Lake bitumen works but higher volumes from the Syncrude mining facility, in which it holds a 25 per cent stake.

Total production rose to 407,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 393,000 boe/d in the same period of 2018.

Kruger is retiring at the end of the year and his role is to be assumed by Brad Corson.


shutterstock_766102951

Nova Scotia and Alberta reviewing vaping regulations

Government in Alberta and Nova Scotia are reviewing laws and regulations around vaping products.

In Nova Scotia, Premier Stephen McNeil says his government is looking at regulations that could ban flavoured vaping products in the province.

McNeil responded Wednesday after the Opposition Progressive Conservatives introduced legislation aimed at addressing the growing numbers of young people who vape.

The Tory bill calls for a ban on e-liquids, and prohibits the use and possession of tobacco products by people under the age of 19.

However, McNeil says the government is already considering a series of potential regulatory changes that would require licences to sell vaping products, similar to those required to sell tobacco.

He says vaping products are regulated by Health Canada, and he believes the federal agency must also “step up” to tighten rules around things like nicotine content.

The premier added that some provincial legislation may also be needed, but there likely won’t be a bill introduced during the current fall session of the legislature.

“We don’t actually need (legislation) to ban the flavours, but we may need to in terms of making other changes that may be required on how we deal with that product,” McNeil said.

He added the regulatory changes could appear before the session wraps up.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston said something has to be done about a product that was originally marketed as a smoking cessation device.

Houston said while vaping products have probably helped some smokers quit the habit, it’s becoming more clear there are potentially harmful health effects.

“My party’s objective is to make sure the discussion is being had,” he said. “If the premier is willing to engage in that discussion, then that’s a good thing.”

In an August interview, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said that online sales were another challenge for the province. He also expressed concerns about teens being able to purchase products from vape stores.

While Nova Scotia was one of the first provinces to introduce regulations banning the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 19 and banning in-store advertising, Strang said there could be further tightening.

Meanwhile, the Alberta government will consider adding rules for vaping when it reviews the province’s smoking and tobacco legislation next month.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said he’s particularly concerned about the growing number of youth who vape, but there’s evidence it can be helpful for adults who are trying to quit smoking conventional cigarettes.

“I respect the rights of adults to choose for themselves, including choices that are unhealthy, but I don’t want my kids or anyone else’s kids to be pressured to start smoking or to start vaping,” he told reporters Wednesday.

He added a quarter of Alberta teens report having vaped in the last month.

Some acute lung illnesses have been reported as a result of vaping in Canada, but to date no cases in Alberta have come up.

The Centres for Disease Control in the United States has said 80% of the 800 recently reported severe lung illnesses from vaping involved people inhaling the cannabis compound THC with their device.

The review of Alberta’s Tobacco Act – which was already set to take place this fall regardless of recent vaping headlines – will be led by legislature member Jeremy Nixon. It is to seek feedback from school districts, municipalities, retailers and health advocates.

Nixon said the review could look at a minimum age for vaping, limiting its use in public places and workplaces, and strengthening restrictions for advertising, especially to youth.

The work is to begin Nov. 1 and be completed by year’s end, with a goal of having any changes brought before the legislature next spring. But Shandro said the government could act sooner if Alberta’s chief medical officer of health recommends any urgent action.

The legislation was last reviewed in 2012.

“This is a new, emerging technology that fell outside the scope of what the legislation said at the time,” Shandro said.

Darryl Tempest, executive director at the Canadian Vaping Association, said the Alberta government is taking a measured approach.

“We at the CVA share the deep concerns of Canadians about the recent cases of lung illnesses, particularly among youth,” he said.

“It’s critical that health authorities get to the primary source of this outbreak, as non-nicotine e-liquid vaping devices sourced on the black market have been implicated in many cases. It is for this reason that we encourage other provincial lawmakers and authorities to follow the example of Alberta.”

David Hammond, a professor of public health at the University of Waterloo, said governments need to act on vaping before there are calls for an all-out ban, which he said would be unproductive and unrealistic.

The key is to target vaping products at adults looking to get off more harmful traditional cigarettes, while cracking down on anything that would entice youth to pick up the habit, he said.

That could include banning advertising anywhere accessible to kids and limiting the zany flavours available for vaping devices popular with youth.

“I actually think it’s a barrier to some adult smokers and to some health professionals considering these products for quitting because they look like kiddie products – peanut butter and jam, chocolate chip cookie dough, cereal milk.”

At the same time, adults need to be better informed, Hammond added.

“In fact, smokers are confused,” he said. “A lot of them think that it’s just as bad or worse than smoking. And so we’ve actually failed both ends of this issue.”